Pietro Lorenzetti was an Italian painter. Although he was a Gothic painter, he was of the pivotal artists that set the foundation of the Renaissance Art, along with his brother Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Giotto and his pupils Bernardo Daddi and Maso di Banco.
Pietro Lorenzetti, or Laurati, was born circa 1280/90, in Siena, Italy. Little is known about Lorenzetti’s life. He worked in Florence, Assisi, Cortona, Siena, and Pistoia, although scholars cannot be precise regarding the chronology.
His artworks suggest the influences of Giotto, Duccio, and Giovanni Pisano. According to Giorgio Vasari, Pietro adorned the facade of the Ospedale Della Scala in Siena, which first brought him to attention. Unfortunately, this work is now destroyed. However, several of his works survived and can be seen in museums and churches of the Italian region of Tuscany, such as Siena, Assisi, and Arezzo. One of his last documented works, The Nativity of The Virgin, is now in the Museo dell’ Opera del Duomo.
His masterpiece is a fresco decoration executed at the lower church of the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi, where he depicted the Deposition of Christ from the Tomb, Crucifixion, and Entombment, made in a series of large scale frescoes.
One of the defining traits of Lorenzetti’s artworks is that his depictions of massed figures often depicted an exceptional level of emotional interactions between them, as opposed to many prior artists who would often represent an agglomeration with no communication with one another, with no compelling relationships. These elements created a rather sterile composition.
Pietro and his brother Ambrogio Lorenzetti, along with artists such as Maso di Banco, Bernardo Daddi, and their teacher Giotto, especially, were responsible for paving a revolution in painting as a whole. They executed their pictures using iconography inspired by Byzantine Art (which were immersed in a solid gilded background). They transported them into compositions exploring the three-dimensional space of towns, air, and land. The aforementioned artists set the foundation for the development of Renaissance Art. In their compositions, Florentine artists tended to represent their images in a more naturalistic manner, as opposed to the Sienese, which utilized fantastical and mystical motifs immersed in oniric landscapes that would even resemble of modern Surrealist artwork.
Some of Lorenzetti’s most famous artworks are Entry of Christ into Jerusalem, Crucifixion, Deposition of Christ from the Tomb, Madonna With St. Francis and St. John the Evangelist, and Beata Umilta Transport Bricks to the Monastery.
Pietro Lorenzetti died in the city of Siena, circa 1348.